A friend of mine and I got into a disagreement over something yesterday. He said I had too much emotional baggage, and that's not sexy. Find a happy woman, he said, and that's the sexiest thing in the world.
And I said, No shit, dumbass.
We were chatting about this in the context of our histories and relationships. I've had very few, but long, ones, whereas he flits and floats in and out with all sorts of women. My hypothesis is the women he dates are either too young to be unhappy or are good actresses, until they feel they're in well enough to drop the facade.
I don't know if I've ever been truly happy. There have been times I've been content, times I've been incredibly joyous and grateful. But as far as relationships go, I don't know how to steer my way through that muck.
I was molested at age four. I was a favorite, treated specially by my abuser. I have no recollection of him being cruel emotionally. I was a lonely little girl and he was like a wolf, a predator who could sniff the disengagement between my parents and me even at that young age. He was an extremely close friend of theirs, and even babysat us on occasion. A grown man in his forties babysitting his friends' kids. There's a reason we have those feelings in our guts.
I remember his visits every Saturday morning. He came over for coffee. He didn't live in our neighborhood. He had to drive. My parents spent a lot of time with him. So did I.
I remember, around the age of eleven or twelve, when I fell out of favor. He had never before been short with me, never before acted as though I was in his way, but suddenly I was. I had hit that magical time for pedophiles—puberty—when their victims lose interest due to bodily changes. All I knew at the time was that he didn't love me anymore.
When I finally told my parents as an adult, they confided that he didn't have a phone, and after he had quit his job and moved away, they learned he had an adult son and ex-wife they had never heard of before.
Why write about this? Why share it? Because it's my life as I know it. I've never lied about who I was and I can't start now.
This has been on my mind lately. I do wonder where he is, if he ever was busted (I doubt it), and if I would recognize him should I run into him. I even wonder if it would matter anymore.
All I can say is that we all are made of our experiences, good bad and ugly. I spent half of my life blocking it out and denying it, and I'm not hiding it anymore. There's no point. This is life. It's my life as I know it.